Strand: Policy contexts
The social context in which the life course develops is partly shaped by policy interventions. This invites the study of the interplay of demographic trends and demographic behaviour and policy. Research in this strand aims to contribute to evidence-based policy making and analyzes policy implications of current and future demographic trends as well as attitudes about population issues and their policy implications.
From a micro-perspective, attitudes about population issues and in particular their policy implications are studied as well as how policies may affect demographic behaviour. In recent years the periodical NIDI Population & Policy Opinion survey (MOAB) was implemented in a series of topical studies in the context of ongoing studies such as the WPRB project. Population policy issues like emigration (2005), the ageing of the labour force and pension reforms (2003 and 2006) and population decline (2009) were addressed. Since active ageing is considered as the focus for the 2012 WPRB study, data collection may also be focused on this topic.
The macro approach of monitoring and analyzing policy contexts and policy implications of demographic trends is implemented both in a national and in an international comparative project. In the national study NIDI heads the Working Group for the Periodic Reporting on Population Issues (WPRB). WPRB is a consortium of NIDI and the leading national planning agencies the Social and Cultural Planning Office of the Netherlands (SCP), the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Also observers from various government departments take part in WPRB. The 3-yearly monitoring reports describe general demographic trends with a special focus on a policy-relevant population issue. While the 2009 study was dedicated to the emerging issue of population decline, the 2012 report will be dedicated to active ageing.
Social and policy impacts of demographic change are increasingly discussed at the European level as well. Since 2005 NIDI has been active in the European Observatory on the Social Situation and Demography of the European Commission as lead institution of its Demography Network. This Network aims to inform the European Commission about demographic and socioeconomic trends and related policy issues in Member States and candidate members of the European Union. The Demography Network regularly produces monitoring studies which summarise demographic trends from a policy perspective. The Network also produces topical Research Notes and Policy Briefs. As of 2009 the Demography Network involves 4 major European demographic research institutes. It is to be expected that active ageing may also be a focal point for DemoNet in view of the upcoming European Year of Active Ageing in 2012. This common focus could yield synergy of the two projects.
In addition to the research projects, NIDI also hosts the Comparative Family Policy Database that offers researchers a wealth of cross-national information on family policies. This database is used in several NIDI projects, but also available free of charge to the international research community.